WORK is due to start in June on building a protective wall behind a Ballyroan housing estate, where a 15ft drop is a danger to children.
The steep incline into a drain behind the Glenbrook estate has prompted regular complaints from residents and councillors.
Cllr Mary Sweeney described the situation as an emergency when she first highlighted the problem six months ago. She told a council meeting that parents have to prevent their children from playing in the area because the huge incline is so dangerous. There are a lot of young families in the estate, which has more than 40 houses.
Cllr Sweeney asked for an update on the provision of a wall or other safety measures at the site at the latest meeting of Portlaoise Municipal District. Senior engineer Wes Wilkinson replied that the works will go to tender by mid-April and it’s expected that construction work will begin in June. The response was welcomed by cllr Sweeney and cllr John Joe Fennelly.
Cllr Willie Aird said he was glad to see that the site would get a wall rather than pallet fencing, which would disintegrate within a few years. He said: “You can see that in estates like Esker Hills in Portlaoise, where it’s an absolute disgrace because the pallet fencing there is all rotting now.”
Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald agreed that brick walls rather than pallet fencing should be erected, as timber costs too much to repair.
Meanwhile, road repairs will be carried out shortly at the Rock Road in Ballyroan, following a request by cllr Sweeney. She pointed out that a lot of heavy lorries used the road because of the anaerobic digester in the area and she received a lot of complaints about the dangerous road surface. She said: “There are a lot of houses on that road and I’d welcome anything you can do to improve safety.”
Mr Wilkinson confirmed that repairs will be carried out on the road in coming weeks.